Art Retreat – Squam Art Workshops

I attended an art retreat last week and it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I went to Squam Art Workshops (link) at Rockywold-Deephaven Camps on Squam Lake, New Hampshire, just below the White Mountains. It is hard to describe the experience in words.

This was my first time at Squam and it was amazing. 200 women from all over the country gathered in the woods, staying in small cabins, taking art and fiber classes, and enjoying the community of creative and kindred souls. I made new friends there and it was truly a magical and life-changing experience.

There was a beautiful dreamcatcher filled with wishes written on paper feather shapes, gently rustling in the wind. The wishes were added by Squamees from last year and this year.

“dreamcatcher”

There were chalkboards echoing the sentiment of the day. This one was my favorite.

Chalk board

This was West Water, our waterfront cabin tucked away in the woods. My cabin-mates were wonderful! We had a bat in our room the first night so we had to call staff at 11:30pm to come and safely remove him. It was a little scary but we were fine.

Cabin

There were several ice houses that store ice blocks harvested from the lake the winter before. Kept in sawdust, the ice blocks are used in the old fashioned ice boxes in the guest cabins.

Ice house

Paths through the woods led to classes and other activities. It was very special finding your way through the forest. There were chipmunks everywhere, the sound of birds was in the air, and you could hear the loons on the lake.

Path

The lake is magical and beautiful. We had a dock behind our cabin at the edge of the lake, to sit on, talk with newly found friends, and contemplate the universe. It was heaven. What more can I say?

Lake view

Here is the landscape painting I created in my class with Karin Olah. It is acrylic paint on canvas with fabric collage glued on top. I also took a knitting class and made a small shawl sample, learning new techniques. There were also spontaneous knitting and sewing sessions here and there with great camaraderie.

Landscape Layers

I made a short video, my first actually, of the panoramic view from the back of my cabin. I am so happy to share my impressions with you.

Believe – One Word for the New Year 2017

Believe - one word for 2017

I have chosen the word believe as my word for 2017. It has been a practice in the creative community to choose one word, or to have one word choose you, to serve as a guide for the coming year. This a simple way to say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new year. Your chosen word helps you to set an intention for the year. It can also bring you back to your center as you make your way along the path of life.

For me, the word believe has a magical quality. It means believing in something that you can’t see but that you know is there. It means trusting in the goodness of a person you hold dear and not doubting them. Above all, it means believe in yourself and have faith in your ability to overcome challenges. It means believe that the world is a wondrous, beautiful place and that we all have a reason to be here, however small and insignificant we may feel at times.

Altered card deck collage

I have been choosing a word for the new year since 2010 when I saw a blog post asking for everyone’s one word posted on Ali Edwards‘ blog at the end of the year. I remember trying to read all of the posts about everyone’s chosen word, but there must have been over 2,000 replies to Ali’s blog post. I was alone at the time and it was so inspiring and moving to read all of these heartfelt intentions for the new year. I felt connected to women all over the world. Ali is a scrapbooking/ life artist and she has inspired many, not only for sharing her creativity but for sharing her life stories. She makes the ordinary, everyday things in life feel quite extraordinary.